Zim Parks visitors mess up

2015-02-24 20:34

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Some visitors to the Zambezi River urinated on the river bank and left toilet paper behind, according to social media's reaction to a bulletin by the Zambezi Society

"Over the past couple of years, the wilderness experience in Mana Pools National Park has undergone a noticeable deterioration, with the increasing abuse of this unique park by unsanctioned, uncontrolled human activities," the local conservation group's bulletin reads, a Sapa correspondent reported on Tuesday.

Situated in northern Zimbabwe, Mana Pools is an UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation world heritage site.

Well-known for its elephants, hippos and wild dogs, it is a favourite place for safaris, wild camping, and outdoor weddings.

Mana means four in the Shona language and refers to the four large pools near the river that are the park's main feature.

The park had few visitors throughout Zimbabwe's 2000 to 2008 economic crisis. Arrivals increased since Zimbabwe found a measure of stability when a coalition government was formed in 2009.

The park is now popular mostly with Zimbabwean and South African tourists, but conservationists are growing increasingly worried about uncontrolled behaviour in this once pristine wilderness area.

"It appears that, with an increasing influx of visitors and wildlife photographers keen for that once-in-a-lifetime image, wild animals and the park's fragile ecosystems are increasingly suffering from the impacts of human behaviour," the bulletin read.

Worried locals have recently drawn attention on Facebook to visitors leaving litter and using the river as a toilet, encroaching on other people's camps to get the best wildlife shot, dangerously baiting game to get good pictures and off-road driving along river beds.

At the moment visitors are allowed to walk in the park unguided.

"Mana Pools should not be a 'free-for-all' for visitors but a role model to world tourism," the society said while pointing out that the offenders are a "relatively small percentage" of visitors.

Public consultations are being carried out to determine how to enforce a code of conduct for visitors to the area.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  conservation

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.